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Lifting the Lid on Waste: Improving resource productivity

Mar 24
Date and time
Wed, 24 March  @  12:00  -  13:00
No charge for BITC members or non-members
Seminar, Webinar United Kingdom
Open to BITC members and non-members
Reserve your place


Open to BITC members and non-members
No charge for BITC members or non-members

Wed, 24 March 2021  @  12:00  –  13:00

Drawing on Business in the Community (BITC) members’ experiences, this webinar will discuss rethinking resource use and concepts of ‘waste’. It will explore reducing and where possible designing out waste, as well as opportunities for creating benefits from it.

Over the last 20 years, England has made real progress in moving away from disposing of commercial and industrial waste in landfill towards higher levels of recycling and recovery1. However there is still a long way to go and many hurdles to overcome.

The complexity of the material streams produced by UK businesses and households makes providing a ‘one size fits all’ recycling service very challenging. Good resource management is also complicated by relentless consumer demand, lifestyles centred around convenience, and by volatile global markets for materials making secondary markets vulnerable.

Furthermore, there is growing public and political concern about the UK’s dependency on exporting waste materials for reprocessing. China’s decision to restrict the import of materials (especially paper and plastics) for recycling2 is creating difficulties elsewhere. There is also increased awareness of the problems associated with exporting low quality materials to countries with differing levels of waste regulation enforcement.

It is time to rethink resource use and concepts of ‘waste’, to reduce and where possible design it out, and to understand the opportunities for turning waste into new ‘wealth’.

We need to go beyond incremental improvements and apply fresh thinking and innovation, recognising that business as usual will only get us so far.

About this event

This webinar will draw on the experiences of BITC member businesses to describe a range of opportunities for turning waste into wealth and the processes needed to realise these, including:

  • identifying opportunities to reduce, reuse and recycle waste
  • understanding the benefits for business, society and the environment
  • establishing your starting point, prioritising actions and deciding on your level of ambition
  • engaging internally with senior management and employees, and externally with suppliers, landlords and other tenants.

This webinar will build on BITC’s Lifting the Lid on Waste guide.


BITC’s Time to Fix Up report identified the shift to a circular economy as a key priority for businesses looking to Build Back Responsibly from COVID-19.  While not the only answer, circular economy principles present a compelling template for companies to reduce short-term costs, identify new revenue sources, build resilience into value chains and accelerate the pathway to a net zero carbon economy.

We support BITC members to bring this to life through practical guidance and collaborative projects aimed at creating circular value chains, focusing on resource intensive sectors including the built environment and textiles.  The work is led by our Circular Economy Taskforce and includes our Circular Office and Lifting the Lid on Waste guides.

About Business in the Community’s Environment Campaign

Our environment and sustainability agenda encourages innovative and transformational change at the core of business. Our programmes focus on building a one-planet economy that delivers lasting prosperity through the UN Global Goals, also known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


This event is open to BITC members, with a limited number of spaces for non-members. It is suitable for people working in the areas of environment, sustainability, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and responsible business.

Contact details and further information

For more information, contact Peter Ramsey, Campaign Manager – Circular Economy at BITC.

Following government advice on social distancing, all BITC events over the coming months will be delivered remotely via digital technology.

Business in the Community is innovating to sustain and repair our planet


  1. Letsrecycle.com (2019) England’s recycling rate creeps upwards, available at https://www.letsrecycle.com/
  2. BBC News (January 2019) Recycling: Where is the plastic waste mountain?, 1 January 2019, available at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news